Linda Martell Praises Beyoncé Amid ‘COWBOY CARTER’ Inclusion

Beyoncé truly is a student of the game and is once again giving a living legend her flowers. On COWBOY CARTER, Linda Martell was featured both on “SPAGHETTII” and “THE LINDA MARTELL SHOW.”

Martell is regarded as country’s “lost pioneer.” Amid her inclusion, she released a statement on Instagram, praising Bey’s exploration into her country roots.

“I am proud that @beyonce is exploring her country music roots,” wrote the 82-year-old. “What she is doing is beautiful, and I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s Beyoncé, after all!”

Martell opens “SPAGHETTII” by reflecting on Bey’s genre-bending artistry. “Genres are a funny little concept, aren’t they?” she says. “In theory, they have a simple definition that’s easy to understand, but in practice, well, some may feel confined.”

“THE LINDA MARTELL SHOW” opened with a round of applause to which Martell responds with gratitude before introducing the next track. She states, “This particular tune stretches across a range of genres and that’s what makes it a unique listening experience. Yes, indeed. It’s called ‘YA YA.’”

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Martell made history in the ’70s as the first Black female solo artist to play the Grand Ole Opry, but her promising career was thwarted thanks to racism. Her solo album, Color Me Country, was released in 1970 and it, along with three singles, all charted on the Billboard country chart.

She was described as a “Southern version of [rock-n-roll trailblazer] Ronnie Spector,” but after being sued over alleged unpaid commissions, getting disregarded after her label chose to prioritize her white labelmate, she ultimately returned to South Carolina, left the business, and settled for a quiet life in obscurity as a bus driver. She was honored in 2021 with the CMT Equal Play Award and a documentary is being made about her life with her granddaughter’s help.